The love letters of Katharine Wright—Wilbur and Orville’s sister—form the basis for this true-to-life love story
In 1926 at age 52, Katharine Wright made the decision to leave her home in Dayton, Ohio—and more importantly her world-famous and intensely possessive older brother, Orville—to marry Kansas City Star editor Henry J. Haskell (known as Harry), the man she loved and had known since her days at Oberlin College. Katharine—the “Wright sister” and the only Wright sibling with a college degree—was an international celebrity in her own right, embodying the worldly, independent, and self-fulfilled New Woman of the early 20th century. Her vibrant, outgoing personality made her an indispensable asset to her renowned yet socially shy brothers. Torn between duty and love, she agonized for months before making her devastating break with Orville. Even though she attempted to communicate with him, he refused to see her until she was on her deathbed three years later.
Maiden Flight (Academy Chicago, an imprint of Chicago Review Press; October 1, 2016) is the fictionalized telling of Katharine Wright and Henry J. Haskell’s love affair. Written by Haskell’s grandson and namesake, Harry Haskell, the novel is based on personal letters, newspaper reports, and other documents of the period—in particular, Katharine’s lively and extraordinarily revealing love letters to Harry. Cast in the form of three interwoven first-person “memoirs,” imaginatively reconstructed by the author, Maiden Flight allows Katharine to step outside of Wilbur and Orville’s shadow. Haskell sheds new light on the central role she played in their private lives, as well as on her often misunderstood contribution to her brothers’ scientific work.
A moving read for anyone interested in the Wrights or independent women of a bygone era, Maiden Flight celebrates Katharine’s abundant store of what she called “human nature”—her spirited and perceptive outlook on life, her great capacity for both love and indignation and her acute and sometimes crippling self-awareness.
About the Author:
Harry Haskell, the grandson of the former Kansas City Star editor Henry J. Haskell, was a writer and editor at the same paper and an editor at Yale University Press. He is the author of Boss-Busters and Sin Hounds: Kansas City and Its Star and The Early Music Revival: A History, and editor of The Attentive Listener: Three Centuries of Music Criticism. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.
Maiden Flight: A Novel
Harry Haskell | published by Academy Chicago, an imprint of Chicago Review Press | distributed by IPG
October 1, 2016 | 272 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 | Fiction| $15.99 US ($21.99 CAN)
Paper | ISBN: 9781613736371
Press release provided by Meaghan Miller, Chicago Review Press